Serving Injured Parties Five, and Only Five, at a Time

When people hire personal injury attorney Patrick McGroder, they know they’re getting his full attention

Published in 2010 Southwest Super Lawyers — May 2010

There are attorneys who want as big a book of business as possible. But not personal injury attorney Patrick McGroder. He’s selective. He only takes five cases at a time. That way, he can go at them the only way he knows how—with everything he’s got.

“I’m certainly not going to outthink anyone, but no one can outwork me,” he says. “And I enjoy working.”

He certainly does—for almost three decades, he has worked 14-hour days, six days a week. “My work is my hobby, it’s my passion,” he says. “I feel very strongly that it’s my calling.”

McGroder was raised in a family that believes in callings.

The Phoenix-based partner with Gallagher & Kennedy says that most of his cases carry the building blocks of social architecture. “Virtually every case involves some component of failure or negligence or gross negligence that, irrespective of the case, needs to be remediated to avoid further tragedy,” he says.

McGroder did more than simply remedy an issue when he represented victims and their families against Ford Motor Co.—he helped save lives. “We believed there was a defect in the fuel delivery system of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptors that resulted in fuel-fed fires upon rear impact,” he says. “The fires trapped officers in the vehicles, either incinerating them to death or inflicting catastrophic burn injuries.” Starting in 1998, McGroder spent almost 10 years on the case, which spanned the nation. As a result of litigation, in addition to compensating victims and families of victims, more than 350,000 police vehicles were remediated, and Ford incorporated new designs on future models. “I know that as a direct result of these changes numerous police officer lives have been saved,” he says. “And we feel very good about that.”

When two high school honor students were gunned down by a juvenile who had been prematurely released from a privately run boot camp, McGroder didn’t just shut down the facility. The defendants had to fund annual college scholarships in the name of the victims for two students from the victims’ high school. “I think it was important to leave a perpetual legacy for these two students whose lives were cut short so tragically,” McGroder says.

McGroder’s work to change his community doesn’t stop with his law practice.

Both he and his family are deeply committed to giving back through community service. McGroder says that from an early age his parents instilled in him that community service was not an option, it was an obligation, and he has tried to give back to his community as much as he has benefited from it. “Whether it is causes such as the homeless or fatherless boys or impoverished folks, my whole family is committed to community services,” he says. “I feel that that is absolutely a big part of my life.”

In 2009 McGroder was named Personal Injury Litigator of the Year in Phoenix based on survey results by his peers. He is humbled by the award and contributes the honor to his respect for others in the courtroom. “I think for the most part if you asked opposing lawyers they would tell you that I’m a pretty good guy,” he says.

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